Wednesday, March 28, 2007


You wake up in the morning feeling like one of your limbs, which is really your heart, has fallen asleep beneath you and you cannot move it or feel it--it is white and bloodless and numb. As if it no longer belongs to you at all--your little heart throbs like a reflex, and that terrifies you because it moves all on its own, it is still twitching despite all common sense, and the prickling of returning blood begins and for a while there is nothing but pain.

Don't be so melodramatic.

Thank God for thunderstorms. I sat outside on my balcony for most of the day, and when the thunderstorm rolled in, I put my book inside and I stood pressed up against the wall, and the brick kept me warm as the rain just poured down, down and down, and there were tiny bits of hail that bounced off the railing and made the ground momentarily white and all rounded like a basket of marbles, and then even the hail was washed away and melting in the rain. And the sun afterwards... Ah, God, the sun. And once everything was dry, I went and got my book again and I continued reading, but mostly I watched the birds come out again, looking bedraggled and seeming surprised to find me sitting there, so that they would fly right at me and then suddenly veer aside. It feels so nice, to hold perfectly still and watch the birds' surprise. And then, there was a chickadee on the ground below who hopped the way I think infants or curiosity must hop. And a dove who flitted up to the roof of the garage behind my building and began to preen and shook its feathers out with such sudden resolution that I swore I saw a small cloud of dust drift away, and a single little feather of down drifted towards the ground and then was caught in an updraft and swung across the parking lot and all the way to land, gently, on the railing next to where I was sitting. This one little feather from this one little bird. It reminded me of the day I had been feeling ignored by God and had complained to Ray that, if I suffered, and suffered righteously, then maybe people would be more inclined to take my work seriously--and as we sat out on the picnic blanket, one little bird flew through the clear sky and *plop* one little bit of bird shit landed directly on the crown of my head. And I laughed and laughed at how God had his eye on me and his ear on me, how I had asked to be shit on and God had delivered, as if to say, "You think I'm not paying attention? You think I don't have my finger on the button?" And now again, here was the single feather the dove had shaken free, and it had come, seemingly at random and adrift, all the way to where I sat--as if to say, "You think these tiny things are meaningless and helpless upon the currents of chaos? You think there aren't patterns in the wind, invisible things at work?"

How silly we all are. How endearing, small and glorious our offerings, how amusing our surprise.

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